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Donor Spotlight: Meet Debbie Mayer

Debbie Mayer became involved with Restore One through one of the numerous anti-trafficking, rescue and restoration organizations that she follows on social media. “About six years ago, we attended a screening of Nefarious and that was it for us. I found I couldn’t stop talking and
trying to raise awareness about the horrors of human sex trafficking,” Mayer said. “I started to educate myself about it, went to a trafficking conference in our city and started following, via social media, non-profits in the fight.”

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She found that as time went on and as she became more involved in raising awareness about human sex trafficking that there was one question that she asked everyone: what about the boys?
“Every article, book, documentary and organization treated them as an afterthought. It was always ‘and it happens to boys too’,” Mayer said. “So when I learned there were no restoration facilities in the whole nation for boys, I was shocked!” That’s when she soon learned about Chris and Anna and what they were doing with The Anchor House.

“When I learned about Chris and Anna and their efforts to open a home for these forgotten boys, my husband and I were in,” Mayer said. “Our monetary support is small, but our prayers are big.”
Debbie said that her and her husband live pretty far away so physical support isn’t possible, but if they were closer they’d be here for everything Restore One related. She said that people would be surprised to know that after years of working with children, that she is capable of still
acting like a four-year- old when necessary.

“I’ll do anything to make a child laugh, I’m fairly quiet and laid-back in public though,” Mayer said.
Debbie and her husband have two sons, a daughter and a grandson. So they love spending time with their family in their free time. She said they also love being in God’s beautiful creation.
“We both feel God’s presence most strongly in nature and love the Smoky Mountains,” Mayer said.
She said she enjoys reading and her husband enjoys driving his ’66 convertible Mustang, but together they are both guilty of binge watching Netflix.

Thank you so much for being a volunteer/donor at Restore One. We look forward to opening The Anchor House in 2017, and we could not do this work without you. Thanks!

Donor Spotlight: Meet the Harris Family

Scott & Donnica Harris

Scott & Donnica Harris

Scott and Donnica Harris first heard about Restore One when Chris and Anna shared their burden for boys in human trafficking at the Church on 68 in Greensboro, NC. “We were astounded by the statistics and how prevalent sex trafficking is in the southeast and even our home state,” Scott said. Scott and Donnica assumed it to be a “big city” or even a foreign problem, but in fact human trafficking was destroying people right here. They’re interest in Restore One spiked when they realized that there was a lack of resources available to help in the restoration of these lives, specifically male victims.

“Thank God, Chris and Anna presented us with an opportunity to partner with them that day,” Scott said. “Instead of leaving feeling heavy with responsibility of the statistics we had just learned, Chris and Anna imparted their passion and vision for Restore One into our church family and into our hearts that day. We could help! We could change lives!” Scott said that putting your hand on the plow feels great. “Whether it’s money, time, talents, we all have ways we can contribute and give back to our community; especially when you hear the heart of Chris and Anna and be able to give towards that,” Scott said.

“Whether it’s money, time, talents, we all have ways we can contribute and give back to our community”

Donnica said that it is truly exciting and satisfying to support Restore One financially. “When faced with an issue as enormous as sex trafficking, it would be easy to assume that Scott and I alone couldn’t make a difference. But partnering with Restore One has given me a sense of freedom in that I don’t have to learn how to run a non-profit or get a counseling degree to impact lives for the better,” Donnica said.

Scott and Donnica support Restore One prayerfully and financially because they are growing in relationship with Chris and Anna and enjoy hearing their passion for Restore One. But also because of their personal beliefs that their finances are assigned to build the Kingdom of God. They would tell anyone who is thinking about getting involved with Restore One to do it. “Get to know Restore One. Get to know Chris and Anna. Get to know the organization and the vision. We want them to be the first to break out so others can see and hear about what they are doing and join in. We want their vision to be contagious and The Anchor House to be a prototype for others throughout the nation until we see sex trafficking abolished” Scott said.

In Scott’s free time he is a full time artist in Greensboro, NC, and the owner of Harris Design Studios. He is looking forward to donating art to The Anchor House and using his talent to raise funds for Restore One. Donnica works as an oncology nurse and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in holistic nutrition. Together they enjoy hiking, traveling and being disappointed by the Minnesota Vikings.

Thank you so much for being a volunteer/donor at Restore One. We look forward to opening The Anchor House in 2017, and we could not do this work without you. Thanks!

Learn More on how you can be a part of the giving team.

Shifting the Perspective: Boys & Men Sexually Trafficked in the United States

The plight of boys and men being sold for sex was made aware to Chris and I during our first year of founding Restore One. Once you know something, you can no longer not know. While I had understanding from my past experiences and years in the field, I did not fully grasp the weight of the issue until I came face to face with some of the bravest men and boys I know, my survivor brothers. While entrenched in this work I admit there are aspects to the nature of male sexual harm that I do not fully comprehend and probably never will. What we do know to be true is in the United States boys and men are being sold for sex every day and there little options for recovery care. Nearly five years into Restore One and we are still the only safe home in United Sates designated solely for boys who’ve been sexually trafficked. This reality is horrifying. In one of the most developed countries in world, we’ve been negligent, failing our men and boys. Males whom experience sexual harm are significantly overlooked and underserved. I’ve come to several conclusions concerning why this is the case in the United States.

Research is now showing that rather than being viewed as victims or survivors like sex trafficked girls, boys are often perceived as homosexual, deviant, promiscuous, exploiters, pimps, hustlers, buyers, and willing participants in “sex work” (Friedman, 2013; Jones, 2010; Rivers & Saewyc, 2012). Our culture communicates a false portrayal of the ideal masculinity, resulting in stigmas and shame. Stigmas paint an untruthful picture that boys and men who do endure sexual harm must be willing participants, bypassing their need to identify as a victim seeking services. In the field of abolition, males are seen mostly as the perpetrator, not a victim. Stigmas surrounding sexual harm are fueled by western culture’s ideals for males. Communicating to boys starting at a very young age that they are too tough, invincible, unable to be harmed or show emotion. Many care providers are influenced by their own biases which drastically impacts the ability for male survivors to form a therapeutic alliance and feel secure in obtaining services. Historically we’ve found that boys in treatment for sexual abuse receive less clinical attention than girls with sexual abuse histories (Douglas, Coghill, & Will, 1996) and adult males’ disclosure of sexual abuse to psychotherapists are often met with insensitivity and a lack of empathy (Alaggia & Millington, 2008; Tickner, 2014). I’ve told many front line workers that boys receiving care starts with you believing the survivors’ story and their need of services. Part of the cultural facade lures many to believe that male survivors of sex trafficking do not exists. Yet we know that as high as 50% of sex trafficked children in the U.S. are boys (Curtis et al., 2008). The antidote to under reporting is changing our mindset to recognize the equal vulnerability of both males and females.

More than anything the modern day field of abolition has been infatuated by the concept that only women and girls are victims of sexual trafficking. With that statement I want to acknowledge my personal gratitude for the awareness and education surrounding female sex trafficking. Many of my friends and allies in the field work for or are founders of organizations doing great work restoring the lives of many female survivors. And I want to challenge the field of abolition on the topic of discrimination of male survivors. If we keep our marketing, language, research and program implantation solely female centered we are not only failing male survivors but we are also feeding into the culture norms that create barriers we are bound in. Sexual trafficking knows no discrimination, neither should the field of abolition.

While I acknowledge these as our realities, I do believe change is happening and will continue to happen. Over the past few years it’s been encouraging to witness male survivors start to education at national conferences. Now many frontline speakers and educators include boys and men into their presentations. My hope is The Anchor House is just the beginning to safe homes opening up all across America. I believe that in the years to come more men will be empowered to offer their voice to educate us and change the mindset of our culture. Change is among us and freedom is more contagious than the constraints of society. Our innate ability to dream past our unsteady reality into a future full of hope will only propel us to trust that change is possible.

 

This blog was written by Co-founder & President of Restore One Anna Smith. To learn more about Anna click the button below. 

Help Make Abolition Possible

Staff Spotlight: Meet Linda Royster

            Linda Royster completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC while also working with adolescent boys and girls at a local mental health hospital. And she is now the Director of Restorative Care for Restore One.

            Linda became involved through a mutual friend who know that her vision and training paired well with Restore One’s mission to provide care for those affected by trauma, particularly, men and boys.

Reclaiming the desires of the soul that were stolen, disfigured, or driven underground psychologically may be the most difficult work for some of our residents, but no less important. - Linda Royster

            One of the first experiences and clearest memories that Linda remembers from Restore One is when she met Anna and two members of the Advisory Board at Panera Bread in Raleigh. “The four of us talked about trauma, its impact, what recovery looks like, and the reality of spiritual warfare. We shared our vision of what The Anchor House could offer boys who have been sex trafficked. We laughed. We became more acquainted with each other,” Royster said.

            Linda also said that while all of that was taking place, they got to listen and watch as the Holy Spirit melded their dreams and joined their desires to partner with Jesus in bringing robust care to underserved victims of sex trafficking.

         She continues to support Restore One because she believes as a young organization, that every type and level of support is critically important. “There are various ways to support The Anchor House. Whether it is financial gifts, material donations, donated services, and/or effectual fervent prayers, we need support. The work of The Anchor House is unique and necessary. I support Restore One because our work touches the heart of God,” Royster said.

We need committed people to pray effectual and fervent prayers for us and our residents. - Linda Royster

We need committed people to pray effectual and fervent prayers for us and our residents. - Linda Royster

         Her favorite part of being a staff member for Restore One is being able to participate in the co-creation of a restorative care program that has the potential to transform boys by giving them a future and sturdy hope.

         When Linda isn’t working she enjoys painting, reading and sharing time with those who are most important to her.

Donor Spotlight: Meet the Orr Family

Jamie and Jennifer Orr heard about Restore One from a friend at their church and soon after they attended the first Stand for One gala, which is when they decided to start sponsoring Restore One. They are the parents of two little boys, and the mission of Restore One spoke to them specifically because they were addressing the needs of male victims in sex trafficking. “When I think about one of my boys being victimized in that way, I’m horrified and my protective instincts go into overdrive, so it made sense to take that passion and strong sense of justice and support the mission of Restore One,” said Jamie Orr.

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They have been supporting Restore One before they even had a house or land and that was a step of faith. They believe that partnering with an agency like Restore One is one way to live out the Gospel daily.

“They’re opening the only safe house in the country for male victims of sex trafficking. What an amazing thing to be a part of!”

 

“We caught onto their vision, and we believe in the need and God’s calling on Chris and Anna to do this work. We really enjoyed each milestone along the way —including our tour of the Anchor House — and we can’t wait to see the vision come to fruition this year.” When they support Restore One they like that they’re giving their money to a local agency that’s truly making a difference by addressing a very under-served group. “They’re opening the only safe house in the country for male victims of sex trafficking. What an amazing thing to be a part of!” This also allows them to know that, in honor of their own sons, they are supporting a group that works with boys.

While neither Jamie or Jennifer have experienced serious trauma in their own lives, such as sexual abuse or sex trafficking — they know and understand the corruptive nature of sexual sin. But they are big on the fact that they don’t think someone has to have a personal experience with the issue of human trafficking to be impacted by it and to be motivated to help. When they aren’t working and volunteering they enjoy hiking, being outdoors, playing Monopoly with their kids and reading.

 

Thank you so much for being a volunteer/donor at Restore One. We look forward to opening The Anchor House in 2017, and we could not do this work without you. Thanks!

Back to Life

This blog "Back to Life" is part two of a two part series. If you would like to read part one click the button below.

Back to Life

We know that Jesus heals, utterly and we know that He has power over death, literally and symbolically. Each one of our deaths, burials, and resurrections is a reflection of the incomparable Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus. His resurrection happened and nothing could prevent it and He invites us to live a resurrected life that is predicated on His. Our resurrection is coming and no dire circumstance can prevent it. Because this is true, I am hopeful for The Anchor House, its residents, and myself.

    When we talk of resurrections, we cannot do so well without entering the space of story, embodiment, and hopeful imagination. Imagine that you knew only a portion of the resurrection story of Jesus. “Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.” Matthew 28:1-6

Surely, it is an extraordinary fact to know about Him and it is not the fuller story. I imagine that a curious mind would want to know who is this man who conquered death. To know Jesus, we must know His story. We must listen with curiosity and allow His life to speak to us in all of its multi dimensional realities.

    Core to the restorative treatment approach of The Anchor House, is our focus on narrative exploration. We are continually being invited to grow in how well we hold stories, including our own. Our residents, in due time and a pace that permits them honoring entry to their stories, will be invited to give voice to their narrative. They need a witness to their lives: the goodness they’ve enjoyed and the harm they have suffered. There are multiple ways to enliven this treatment approach. For us, having The Anchor House residents share their narratives in a kind holding environment is as important as any other component of our treatment approach.

    I invite you to rethink what you may have come to know about sharing stories. In no way am I advocating a rote telling or retelling of facts. There is little, if any, goodness in that. However, my invitation to our residents is to ask them to risk a full-bodied telling of their stories. We want them to be mindful and present and we know this likely will feel counter-intuitive. Every story can’t be told nor is that necessary. There are some that must be told, engaged, and held well. Jesus’s story, in the fullness of Scripture, is our model of how we aspire to care for stories, including our own.

    It is right and good to bring our bodies to the stories we tell and to those who bear witness. This is the invitation for staff and residents alike; and you. I realize the language I am using may sound strange, especially in contexts where there has been emphasis to separate mind and body. Divided and dissociated states are not how we were created to live. The work of trauma is to divide us from ourselves; to take our bodies away from us. I am grateful that we have the capacity to create some division/dissociation in the midst of trauma, but we are not created to live continually separated mind from body. Nowhere in Scripture have I seen it more painful and clear of how it can feel to bring our embodied selves than when Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:44. Embodied, Jesus agonized in prayer to Father so much so that His sweat fell like great drops of blood. The Anchor House residents will need to know that their bodies are not bad; nor their feelings. Our work is to partner with them in becoming whole people again. Becoming whole requires some imagination for the future; some sense of what can be that is not yet. Often, that can be an agonizing process.

    Resurrection makes playful imagination hopeful. Please refuse to limit yourself to believing that playful imagination is only fantasy or for very young children. It is that and so much more. Playful imagination helps us live with hope instead of being resigned to status quo. If we don’t enter the lives of our residents with hope, then we will become impotent in our capacity to “heal the brokenhearted” and broken bodied as Isaiah 61:1 says. Hope is the fuel that keeps us engaged and believing that there is more; that the present and future can be different from the past. The Resurrection of Jesus grounds our hope; reminding us that He is not bound by painful pasts or the war with our bodies or our ambivalence about freely imagining becoming who we were meant to be.

    Our stories are sacred and we are living epistles. My hope for you is that you will find a community who reads you well and stands awe-filled by your stories. Our heart is to do this for our residents; courageous boys who may not yet know that they are risking everything on the allure of Resurrection. Resurrection is coming!

- Linda Royster, Director of The Anchor House

 

 

 

Restoration and Faith

            Restoration and Faith seem to go hand-in-hand. Often, this is true. Often, this is not true. Concepts of restoration and faith are too vast to be explored in this post with any significant depth. However, there are a few points that may spark curiosity as we move through this Lenten season in preparation for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. The invitation is to consider and engage what I bring to you today with a sense of playfulness and curiosity. 

         To help facilitate engagement, you’ll need to know clearly how I conceptualize restoration and faith. By implication, restoration lends itself toward bringing something or someone back to a condition prior to the occurrence of damage or loss, sometimes surpassing the initial condition. Faith, fundamentally, is belief; belief in or belief for. As human-beings, we need restoration and faith. We’re all guided by those needs and deeply suffer when they are not met. Whether it is the most basic daily requirement of getting restful sleep to counter sleep deprivation or eating a satisfying meal to quell hunger, each act is one of restoration and faith.

            As I consider the sacred texts of Scripture, the symbiotic relationship of restoration and faith are undeniable. In this season, the story of the woman with the twelve year hemorrhage in Mark 5:25-34 speaks most vividly of the relationship of restoration and faith. Perhaps the chronically ill woman had heard of Jesus long before that moment of healing or maybe only minutes before, but one thing is certain, her faith led to her restoration both physically and spiritually. Desperate and dejected, she participated in her healing and took action by touching the hem of Jesus’s garment. He, being nearly crushed by the crowd on his way to resurrect a little girl who had died shortly after He had been told of her illness, was keenly sensitive to this woman’s faith in the midst of her crushing heartache. Twelve years of suffering physically, socially, emotionally, psychologically, and financially can strip most of us of any pretense. She is presented to us as a suffering woman whose faith is child-like in that her expectation for healing was boundless. It is possible that she was a child when her traumatic suffering began. The possibility of a full and thriving life, pregnant with possibilities had been closed off to her. She had become acquainted with loss. 

            Obviously, it is not coincidental that the girl Jesus is on His way to resurrect in Mark 5:35-43 is twelve years old and the hemorrhaging woman has suffered for twelve years. One story seems to serve as unclouded reflections of the other, building in levels of severity. It is never helpful to speculate whose suffering or circumstance was worse; a woman who had suffered a twelve year physical death of her womb (and all its social, emotional, psychological, and financial implications) or a girl who suffered illness and death as a twelve year old youth. Both of their lives had been truncated by trauma. Both had known death and resurrection, albeit differently. The hemorrhaging woman (re)gained daughtership through her faith which led to Jesus healing her and meant that she (re)gained space, place, and beloved identity while the twelve year girl had daughtership uninterrupted and received resurrection because of her space, place, and beloved identity.

            I suspect that everyone who has lived long enough has gone through cycles of death and resurrection. It is highly improbable that the cycle is one of literal death and resurrection but we, in varying degrees, are acquainted with death and life. It is true for me. I have suffered death of dreams and some were slow agonizing deaths that no amount of life-support would suffice while others were immediate deaths that left me with a symptomology similar to criteria needed for a PTSD diagnosis. I had to memorialize the deaths, bury them, and grieve them. Some of my dreams are long dead and remain dead. However, a few of my buried dreams Jesus has called forth and life returned.

            Remember, I said earlier that restoration and faith seem to go hand-in-hand at times and, at times, they do not. It is not necessary to introduce another story when the story of Jairus’s daughter supports my next point. However, the Scriptures give us an even more poignant text. As we transition from the scene of a suffering woman being restored and a little girl being resurrected, now the scene is Jesus teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath and while He is teaching sees a woman with a spirit of infirmity bent over 18 years, unable to stand-up straight (Luke 13:10-13). Jesus saw her, called her over to Himself, loosed her from her infirmity, laid hands on her and she was healed immediately. Had this woman sought healing before this moment with Jesus? We do not know. What the text clearly lets us know is that Jesus initiated the healing, which did not require this woman to act on faith to be restored. Jesus saw her and had compassion on her.

            As I see it, each story has a reverberating message that reaches us today which is Jesus’s utter willingness to rule over death and loss on our behalf whether or not we are actively seeking restoration and whether or not restoration happens the way we imagined. I wonder if that leads us to places of quiet rest; confident that Jesus sees us and is moved with compassion.

- Linda Royster, Director of The Anchor House

 

 

Donor Spotlight: Meet Travis & Maggie Bartlett

Travis Bartlett attended East Carolina University and lived in Greenville, NC for over five years which is where he met Chris and Anna originally. He became invested in their mission at Restore One and began working with them as their graphic designer. Bartlett had a great first impression of the work being done at Restore One by Chris and Anna, “I was blown away by their dedication, commitment and passion for the mission.”

Travis & Maggie Bartlett

Travis & Maggie Bartlett

 

Travis Bartlett and his wife Maggie Bartlett had one question when it came to donating to Restore One, “if not now, when?” To that they answered, “the time will never be right or perfect to give, volunteer or get involved. If an issue, organization or person is tugging on your heart, listen, be obedient and say yes. This is a worthy cause and even though we can’t do everything, we can do something.” They value their continued relationship with Chris and Anna and believe deeply in the work that is being done at Restore One. “We love remaining connected to the mission and informed about how to fight domestic minor sex trafficking. It’s exciting to watch Restore One grow and make moves in the community,” stated Travis and Maggie.

Being connected to Restore One’s mission as a donor is a unique and incredibly important way to fight against domestic minor sex trafficking. - Travis & Maggie Bartlett

After answering the important question of “if not now, when?” they began supporting Restore One regularly because of Maggie’s experience when she lived in Kenya, “she worked with women and girls who were recovering victims of sex trafficking, rape and prostitution. She became deeply passionate about victims of sexual violence finding healing and redemption and rediscovering their worth. Being connected to Restore One’s mission as a donor is a unique and incredibly important way to fight against domestic minor sex trafficking. We believe in Chris and Anna and their team, and stand behind their steadfast work at Restore One. We cannot do everything, but we can do something. Monthly contributions are one small way to be a part of something incredibly important and powerful,” said Travis. If there was one thing they wish people knew about Restore One, it would be that they knew that it truly does make a difference in the community.

Travis and Maggie are from Denver, Colorado and in their free time they travel and love exploring the Colorado mountains on backpacking, hiking and fishing trips. “We love hosting and visiting with family and friends who are involved with Young Life in Colorado. We also eat out way too often and are always down to watch another re-run of Friends,” said Travis.         

Thank you so much for being a volunteer/donor at Restore One. We look forward to opening The Anchor House in 2017, and we could not do this work without you. Thanks!

Restoring The Anchor House

Over the past two weeks since The Anchor House flooded one thing has come to light and become very clear. People from all across America care about this mission, and want to see The Anchor House open. After these recent events, it would be easy to lose sight and hope, but with the continued love and support we have been shown, we remain focused and committed to what Jesus has called us to do.

As the team at Restore One sets its sights on the future, it is clear we have work to do. We hope to have the AH restored in the next two months, and if this happens it will not set us back from the timeline of opening the AH. Below is what has been donated and what we still need to restore the AH.

- Replacement of sheetrock (Donated)

- New insulation (Donated)

- Replacement of cabinets (Donated)

- Painting (Need)

- Flooring (Need)

- Replacement of doors (Need)

- Replacement of baseboards (Need)

- Landscaping (Need)

- Re-rock driveway (Need)

I would like to ask that you and your family prayfully consider joining us in these efforts. It is clear that there is a community of people that want to see this mission fulfilled, I invite you to join this community. A community that cares about boys that have been sex trafficked.

To donate to these efforts visit TheGoFundMe page

Below are a couple of events that are benefiting the restoration of The Anchor House.

Corey's Collectables

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The Anchor House Flooded... Now What?

“The greenest grass is found wherever the most rain falls.” - Streams in The Desert

The havoc caused by Hurricane Matthew is not a an isolated event but a catastrophic disaster for many communities. Last week, Chris and I watched news clips of the suffering in Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the entire east coast of the United States. The amount of destruction and number of lives lost by the effects of Matthew is profoundly heartbreaking. Our personal community of Eastern North Carolina is experiencing Hurricane Floyd level flooding. We are all in a state of emergency and we are all hurting. 

As many in Eastern North Carolina, Chris and I sorrowfully witnessed the flooding of a place that is very special to us, The Anchor House. Sunday afternoon waters seeped into The Anchor House flooding cottage one and the first floor of the main building. There was nothing we could have done to stop the flood waters. Our driveway became a lake and our buildings were consumed by water. In our inability to change or stop the destruction, we were and are still in shock to report The Anchor House is currently flooded.

It’s so hard to see God in the midst of such devastation, yet in faith we believe that He is there and somehow in His goodness will make sense of this wreckage. For those of you directly effected by Hurricane Matthew, Chris and I’s hearts go out to you, we join you in this season of suffering and believe that together we will walk this out. 

As soon as flood waters recede, Restore One volunteers will work together to restore all the damage done to The Anchor House. Over the next months, Chris and I ask that you remain resilient with us and continue to support the fulfillment of the mission and vision of Restore One. It is without a doubt that this is just another hurtle we must cross prior to opening the doors of The Anchor House to serve boys. 

While the Anchor was insured, unfortunately it was not insured for flooding. We caught the omission of flood insurance too late and the flood policy will not go into effect till October 30th. This was a mistake on our part, which we regret deeply and has added to the devastation we are already feeling. We also recognize that while we made a mistake His grace is and will continue to be sufficient to overcome these obstacles in of His mission and will to Rescue and Restore boys lives!

Over the next couple of weeks Restore One will be sharing ways you can get involved by physically volunteering and personally giving towards the revitalization of The Anchor House. In order for Restore One to fully recover from this natural disaster we need an estimated $80,000 to restore the damage done. 

Friends you are our family, Chris and I love the unique people that you are. Even in this devastation, I know that together we will recover and see that God in kindness will restore us in holy unfathomable ways. 

In humility,

Chris and Anna 

 

We have launched a GoFundMe Campaign to help raise the money to Restore The Anchor House. Click the button below to donate to these efforts.

How Restore One got Started

          The beginnings of Restore One were signaled by a holy cue and followed with blind faith. It was a wild idea that two young twenty somethings, newly married and totally naive to the underpinnings of the nonprofit world, could effectively pull off addressing such a complex topic that is so seldom spoken of within our western world. Chris and I had no clue what we were signing ourselves up for when we jumped into addressing the issues of sex trafficking as it pertains to men and boys. During the first few years and even now I feel like we are learning how to pilot as the plane is taking off. 

It was a wild idea that two young twenty somethings, newly married and totally naive to the underpinnings of the nonprofit world, could effectively pull off addressing such a complex topic that is so seldom spoken of within our western world.

 

    Restore One began during what I’d like to say was “casual” dinner conversation between Chris and I. We were both less than a year out from undergrad and from the marriage alter. The only things to our name were a cocker spaniel named Titus and a vehicle. We’d spent the past year raising support to work with another anti-trafficking organization as a dual package, me being the eager social worker and Chris as a former youth pastor. We’d been working for the company for about 6 months when Chris pitched an idea that sent me spinning. Maybe we had chicken that evening, I don't remember. All I recollected were his words, “Anna, I believe that God is calling us to start our own nonprofit organization.” I was dumbfounded by his statement and thought, “Man, he must have had a terrible day.” Ultimately I wasn’t listening to Chris but in his patient urging, he continued this conversation over another dinner and then the next day and the next and so on. You get the picture. 

    I did not want to start a nonprofit organization. Every bone in my body was terribly afraid of making such a fierce leap. Yet, as we began to pray, it was undeniable that God was calling us to start an organization dedicated to opening safe homes for survivors of sexual trafficking. At that point, we’d not even begun to dive into the particular needs for boys and men. It wasn’t until 6 months later that we made the shift and chose to pursue opening The Anchor House.        

    So with clenched teeth and watery eyes, Chris and I packed up our life in central North Carolina and moved back to our home town of Greenville. All that was concrete was the name Restore One and the beginnings of the vision. Looking back I realize we were on a ghost trail following God. It’s laughable because we had no clue where we were going to end up by just saying “yes” to the option placed before us. 

    Many people ask us, how did you start Restore One or what made you want to get involved. I believe that we made those choices consciously and subconsciously. It’s a no brainer for most, knowing that children should never be sold for sex and if they are, we must do our very best to restore all that was damaged; that is a conscious choice. Subconsciously, our own narratives are always taking flight. I’m convinced that we are drawn into this work through our own attempts to heal from past woundings. 

    Holding these concepts, I believe that we didn't choose Restore One but Restore One chose us. Beginnings, no matter the start, always cast us into the past long before launching us into the future. Our wellspring of healing began the year we waveringly plunged into addressing that boys and men are wrongfully sexually trafficking on United States soil. As Chris and I dove into our colliding pasts, we were able to piece together the underpinnings of what restoration looks like not only for us but for the boys that will enter into The Anchor House. It is uncanny how unearthing Restore One unearthed us. 

I believe that we didn’t choose Restore One but Restore One chose us.

I’m forever changed by precious people I’ve met these past four years. However, I’m not a better women by choosing to say “yes,” but I’m made more complete only by God’s artistry of my heart in the process. For I now see that we’ve not danced until we’ve wept; nor have we wept until we’ve danced. It is a privilege to sit with those who mourn, to sing with those who sing, and to bear the burden of human suffering on behalf of others. For even as Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, you and I are called to serve in this fashion. However, it’s God’s grace that continues to let the sparks of love grow in our hearts, so that we may enlarge with a grander empathy that heals human suffering outside ourselves. 

Freedom for All,

Anna Smith, Co-founder & Executive Director of Restore One

Help open The Anchor House

Call to Prayer

As we have been thinking about the future of Restore One, we have discussed the importance of prayer and how spiritual warfare affects us on a daily basis. Not only have I seen the effects of prayer in my personal life in so many different ways, but I have seen the difference it has made in Restore One.

I think as Christians there are times where we assume prayer is going to happen without really having to put much effort forward. Those times can almost be like a habit if you grew up in a Christian home or Christian school or grew up in church. You just kinda know you're supposed to pray. Like before a meal, before a big trip or conference, before a meeting, when you wake up or go to sleep, things like that. Prayer just happens at those points for a lot of Christians including myself. 

I've been working on making prayer more constant in my day instead at just those habitual moments. I think sometimes I forget I serve a God who is all-powerful but also so reachable. Even though He is so good, and so much better than me, He wants to hear about my struggles through the day. When I put more effort to stay in communication with Him, I can hear and see the Holy Spirit in my life so much more clearly. I also began to see myself rest in Him, and not rely on my strength to get through hard situations as much.

Praying at The Anchor House

Praying at The Anchor House

Just like we see in our personal life the difference constant prayer makes, it's the same in a ministry. While Restore One is an organization, it's also a ministry. A ministry that sees spiritual warfare, but also just really terrible situations that can be very emotionally draining. We know the best way to not get burned out or to make it through the hard situations is to rely on His power by staying in communication with Him. That is why Restore One has decided to increase our prayer team meetings to once a week instead of once a month. We are super excited about this, and can't wait to see what God's gonna do through this time! If you are interested in joining, please see below, or please just keep us in your prayers when you can. The power of prayer is strong, and your prayers make a difference.

Much love,

Mary Soltow

 

Are you interested in joining the Restore One prayer team? If so, email Mary at mary@restoreonelife.org